Knowing How to Fake It

Why do women feel to the need to change what we have naturally in the search for something that is hard to maintain, difficult to get right and sometimes makes us feel like the runner up version of Sienna Miller rather than the best version of ourselves?  Julie Cobbe from Stylefish examines this dilemma in this article.

Putting a Spring in Your Step

As women we all love fashion & love to feel good and although in times of recession it may not seem very high up on the economic agenda; now more than ever our style & beauty routines play a profoundly important role in putting a spring in your step when everything else seems to want to bring us down. It gives us a signature that makes us proud no matter what the day. It tells the world a bit of our story without us having to say a word and most importantly it allows us to immerse ourselves in our very own creative bubble.

So why is it that lately as we look around we see people opting for the more is more approach to fashion & beauty with false eyelashes, fantastically full hair & worst of all faker than fake tan? Not everyone is a whiz at the beauty basics. This, I am fine with. Not everyone is a stylish fish but really ladies sometimes less is more!

I would like of course to say this brainwave came to me like any other force of fashion brilliance! But no. As I sipped a glass of wine with my boyfriend the other day we were talking about make-up.

I was explaining that when we come back from a holiday our foundation is no longer the correct shade for our skin (as we are the closest to a bronzed goddess that we will ever be).

I explained this means forking out for a darker shade until the Irish weather ensures a return to pale and pasty normality within one month, two if you’re really lucky. In the meantime my new purchase is an added expense in an already stretched wallet (does the Estee Lauder Counter ever have sample bottles anymore!?).

His reply to this was ‘why wear foundation at all’. If you went without, got a tan on holiday and came back to now also wear no foundation surely this problem would be no more?’ Just as I was about to launch into a triad of reasons defending my purchase, I suddenly thought ‘you know what, you’re right!’

Fake Tan Offending

Why oh why do women (me included) feel to the need to change what we have naturally in the search for something that is hard to maintain, difficult to get right and sometimes makes us feel like the runner up version of Sienna Miller rather than the best version of ourselves. Fake tan is absolutely the worst offender. The victims of this tangerine dream are mainly brainwashed by the newest religion – the celebrity. And most disturbingly, we reside in sun-starved Ireland where in a good Summer a ‘glow’ is the most we can hope for.

We all want our style to look Saint Tropez chic, we all want our look to make a statement of effortless elegance. But does fake tan really do this?  I hate to point out the obvious here but fake tan looks fantastically stupid (if rather amusing) on the 9 out of 10 women who don’t know how to get it right.

Less is more is a mantra we should all be repeating.

Here are our top tips:

  1. Opt for a moisturiser with a gradual tan for a more natural look.
  2. Always exfoliate before you get started to lift those dead skin cells & reveal ready to tan revitalised skin beneath.
  3. Always moisturize before you tan and allow to try before starting
  4. Always use gloves or a mit. No one wants orange fingernails. Big giveaway.
  5. If using tan on your face a clever trick is to apply Vaseline on your eyebrows & along your hair line to stop any dodgy tide marks
  6. Use a buffing mit to even out your tan and wipe away any excess
  7. Invest in St Tropez Self Tan Remover to take away any stains from your hand.

So If you are going to jump on the celebrity tanning do it with the real you in mind, enhance rather than empty the bottle and remember that most people around want to just see the happiest smiliest most comfortable version of yourself.  It is all about enhancing what you’ve got not exchanging what you’ve got for someone you don’t know.

Here’s a pretty good tutorial on how to apply fake tan:

You might also enjoy reading How to Wear Black and How to Wear Accessories

Julie Cobbe is Founder of Ireland’s first Fashion School for women ( that combines the realness of classes & consultations with the convenience of an online members club. She set up in March 2009 to combine her love of teaching with her love of fashion. Style Fish shows women how to become their own stylist & do it for themselves through their personalized body shape & colour styling class or consultation.

What are your views on fake tan and makeup? Share them with us in the comments below.

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